November 23, 2020
James Vanderpool, the Anaheim City Manager joined us on Monday November 23, 2020. Mr. Vandepool started with the city of Buena Park 25 years ago and has been the city manager there for the last 8 before coming to Anaheim. He has been with the city of Anaheim since September 2020. Mr. Vanderpool got his Bachelors’ degree from Purdue and his Masters’ from University of Phoenix. He is not a stranger to Rotary; he has attended the Buena Park Rotary at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant back when they had more than one member. He attended Servite High School in Anaheim and has spent his life in the area.
During his last 10 weeks with Anaheim, Mr. Vanderpool has taken on his role during strange times. With COVID-19 raging the world and with Anaheim’s main resource being tourism, our city has been hit hard with the closing of the Disney Resort. This has resulted in three-quarters to one million dollars in local revenue lost PER DAY.
Mr. Vanderpool has not only been working towards economic health but also the physical health of the community members. They have implemented a system testing 300 residents of two different neighborhoods in the city for COVID-19. These ‘Hot Spots’ of the COVID-19 are both in the poorer areas of the community without readily available access to test sites.
Mr. Vanderpool has been seeking grants of four million dollars to assist with the ‘bottomless pit of need’. There are federal grants out there to assist the business community’s fall-off of commerce. Amounts as high as $2000, to go towards the purchase of umbrellas, heaters, etc., can be awarded to city restaurants to open an outdoor eating area. Furthermore, monies to asset in the procurement of WIFI in private homes can be awarded to ease the lack of such services for at-home learning.
Recent restrictions in the prevention of the COVID-19 spread has definitely put the damper on Anaheim’s economy. Our county is “getting hammered” regarding the governor’s restrictions on reopening theme parks. Mr. Vanderpool has been attempting to reach a compromise that him in regards to this but has had no headway.
Something else that is quite exciting… borrowing from his success in Buena Park, Anaheim has acquired their portion of Beach Boulevard from CALTRANS and is planning on revitalizing it as he did in Buena Park. This includes beautification. Repositioning of businesses closer to the street creating a much more welcoming front to traffic.
The land around Angel’s Stadium has been sold to the Angels franchise who themselves are selling it for redevelopment. This includes the addition of 5000 residential units, retail space and a park. 15% of these new units will be made available to low-income tenants. The property around the Honda Center is also being developed with a large entertainment venue, retail shops, outdoor recreation area, and residential units. This development would include a bridge to the ARTIC train station.
Thank you, James Vanderpool, for joining us at Anaheim Rotary and we expect great things from you as our new city manager!
For more information on the new City Manager and his activities, please visit the Anaheim City Manager website at: City Administration | Anaheim, CA – Official Website